New awards announce shortlist for Auckland’s best BYOs

Aucklanders from Torbay to Takanini have spoken. From over 100 nominations, 12 restaurants across Tāmaki Makaurau have been shortlisted for the city’s first ever Best BYO Awards. 

Booming Facebook food forum Lazy Susan and go-to BYO bottle option Leftfield wines have teamed up to find the establishment that has it all: good food, a welcoming vibe and, most importantly, the option to bring your own vino. 

The finalists include cult classics, iconic institutions, and new kids on the block, all of which will be scored against criteria by a panel of four experts. The highest scoring of the lot (including votes from the public) will receive a $5,000 small business support package and bragging rights of being crowned the city’s best BYO. 

Judge and Lazy Susan co-founder Anna King Shahab says selecting the shortlist was a challenge, with so many nominations from dedicated food-lovers via callouts on social media. 

“The spread of restaurants was impressive both geographically and culinarily,” says Shahab. “With the uncertainty that has hit the hospitality industry particularly hard of late, we wanted to ensure that excellent eateries spanning suburbs and specialities were highlighted. 

“The four of us had a lot of back and forth online and a productive, caffeine-fuelled heads-together session to sharpen the list to 12 frontrunners.” 

 Fellow judge Sam Low – a food and beverage creative, champion barista and Chinese gastronomy enthusiast – says identifying the top sites was a difficult process, but a fascinating one. 

“There is such a large number of great establishments to choose from in Auckland, with varying styles of cuisine and locations,” he says. 

“Many names popped up from the submissions that we had no idea were actually BYO spots, which obviously increased the size of the list to narrow down, but we have an incredible list of eateries that we can’t wait to visit.” 

Heading into the final round, the four judges – Anna and Sam are joined by Lazy Susan co-founder and food publisher Anthony Suvalko and restaurateur Sammy Akuthota – will visit each venue to rate their experience based on factors including ambience, service and, of course, food. 

So, without further ado, the shortlist for Leftfield and Lazy Susan – Auckland’s Best BYO Awards 2022 is: 

  1. Bail Nights – 4 Williamson Avenue, Grey Lynn
  2. 2. Big Fish Eatery – 3/710 Great South Road, Penrose 
  3. Bunga Raya Restaurant – 2a/3062 Great North Road, New Lynn 
  4. Canton Café – 477 New North Road, Kingsland 
  5. El Greco – 1/1 The Esplanade, Campbells Bay 
  6. Faro – 5 Lorne Street, Auckland CBD 
  7. Golden Jade – 417 Manukau Road, Epsom 
  8. Nishiki – 100 Wellington Street, Freeman’s Bay 
  9. Satya – 17 Great North Road, Grey Lynn 
  10. Sri Pinang – 356 Kārangahape Road, Auckland CBD 
  11. Tianze Dumpling House – 695 Sandringham Road, Sandringham 
  12. Try it Out Restaurant – 79 Atkinson Avenue, Ōtāhuhu 

Want to have your say? The final scores will also include points for a public vote, with the overall winner announced the second week of March 2022. Head to leftfield wines to cast your vote. 

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